Congratulations to Bob Keller and Charlie Yates!
The two Gulf Winds Track Club members will be among the nine seniors recognized at the Tallahassee Senior Center’s 2008 Silver Stars Awards. The awards honor local citizens who stay active and continue to make a positive difference in their communities past age 60.
If you’d like to attend, the awards celebration is 6 p.m. May 22 at the University Center Club. Tickets are available by calling 891-4000.
Below are the bios highlighting their impressive accomplishments:
Cycling, running and swimming are all in a day’s work for 74 year-old Bob Keller. An active triathlete and avid training instructor, Bob says proudly that working out every single day and staying in great shape keeps him positive and healthy.
In his younger years, Bob satisfied his strong athletic drive by playing team sports. It wasn’t until he was in his 40s that he began running triathlons. “By the time you reach your 40s, team sports kind of go out the window,” said Bob with a chuckle. “It was time to find something I could do on my own.”
Born in Chicago in 1934, Bob met his wife of 50 years, Stacia, in Hawaii while serving in the Korean War. He moved to Tallahassee with her after retiring from 20 years of work for the General Mills Company. The couple fell in love with the area while driving through on vacation. “It looked like a good place to settle down,” said Bob. He also added that the warm weather and hills make Tallahassee an ideal location to train.
After moving to Tallahassee, he established a new career as a financial consultant, which he pursued for 20 years, working with both Raymond James and AG Edwards. He continued his interest in triathlons and running during this time; however, his athletic career really picked up after he retired three years ago.
To date, Bob completed more than 500 runs and more than 250 triathlons and duathlons. This includes 14 world championships and competitions all over the country and across the world!
When he isn’t competing, Bob can most likely be found directing and organizing races or training athletes. For the past six years, he co-directed the Red Hills Kids Triathlon. He recruits kids for the race and encourages them to compete. He also performs the labor-intensive job of setting up the transition areas for the race and trains some of the young athletes.
Many of the races he competes in—and volunteers for—benefit charities. Currently, one of his biggest charitable contributions to the community is assisting the Capital Health Plan Champions after-school athletic program, sponsored by Capital Health Plan and Titus Sports Academy. The program lets Bob share his love of fitness with the next generation.
Charlie Yates’ involvement in Tallahassee touches many lives. From track activities to the Tallahassee Rotary Club and even the Tallahassee Apple Users, the 83 year-old finds little time for himself. The wide range of organizations in which he participates reflects his extremely well rounded and outgoing personality.
Charlie spent his career as an architect for the State of Florida, where he specialized in building adult and juvenile detention centers. “I know it’s an unusual specialty,” he said with a laugh, “but, as I always said, you can’t help ‘em unless you can hold ‘em.” He worked all over the state until his retirement from the profession in 1990 at 65.
He served on many different boards in Tallahassee, each touching on some of his strongest passions: His athleticism reflected in involvement with the FSU Track & Field Officials and the Gulf Winds Track Club; his technology-savvy with the Tallahassee Apple Users; his dedication to the community, through his role as a past district governor for Rotary Club. He also works a great deal with the Tallahassee Senior Center.
Running and track remain an important part of his life because he can do both while keeping himself healthy and socializing with the community. He walks and jogs three miles a day for three days a week and runs races on a regular basis.
Charlie and his wife Linda serve as active members of Trinity United Methodist Church. He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the church and recently retired from 40 years as an usher.
Don’t expect to see Charlie slowing down any time soon. He attributes much of his positive attitude to his strong involvement with organizations in the community and his athletic activity, even if his age is sometimes apparent. “I have no shame in being the last one to get to the finish line,” he said smiling, “because every train needs a caboose.”